Enduring wintertime blues in a snowy city

I feel like the odd one out in Buffalo.

Everyone seems to have the same mentality — “Hey, it snows in Buffalo, so just get over it!”

I can’t.

The darkness and the cold get to me. I can consciously observe a change in my psyche by this time of the year. I lose motivation, and I start to go stir crazy.

The fact that I’ve lived in this area my whole life does not change the fact that I can’t deal with winter.

Currently, I am spiraling down into a sad meltdown. I find myself yearning for unusual things with heavy spring undertones. I even caught myself researching ways to get shipments of tropical caterpillars so I could keep them on my desk at home and look at them. I was almost drooling over the idea of staring into a tiny terrarium filled with warm-weather bugs.

Last weekend, I ventured to the Botanical Gardens. I had no intention of inspecting interesting species of orchids and cacti. I was only interested in pretending I was somewhere tropical for a few hours. I just walked around aimlessly and tried not to remember that the snow outside was causing my insanity.

The worst part is that there is no set end date for this temperate torture. It could be spring within a few weeks, or it could be freezing cold until May. I check the 10-day forecast every morning, noon and night.

Being a spring baby, I have experienced birthday celebrations in mid-March that have included both snowmobiling and water balloon wars.

Having winter creep into April wouldn’t be so bad if I knew for sure that spring would come on a specific day. Then I could just wrap myself in an electric blanket, eat noodles and cry until the mercury busts 40.

So many people have recommended Vitamin D and B-12 tablets to help take the edge off, but they just don’t seem to properly offset the damage done in the absence of sunlight and leafy green vegetables.

I’ve even tried the Verilux “Happylight,” which blasts fake sunlight into your eyes while you eat breakfast. It seems to trick my brain into thinking it’s sunny outside, but when I leave for the day I am majorly disappointed.

If I could just hear birds or sit in the grass, I think I could get through this. If only a warm, gentle August breeze could give us all a hug. It would be healing and restorative, as opposed to the obnoxious winter twisters that push you onto the ice.

One of the only truly therapeutic things I can do is express myself out loud. I complain and whine about how much I miss the color green and how dry my hands are. Just about everyone who hears me either agrees and begins to whine with me, or tells me to get over it because I’m in Buffalo.

Get over it? I will do no such thing. I will become the world’s youngest snowbird. Mallard ducks are the natural masters of meteorological pickiness, and I think they’re really on to something with this whole migration thing.

I love Buffalo, but the relentless five-month tundra tantrum can take a hike. It won’t, so I will.

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